From 'The Artist' to 'War Horse,' 23 Awards Contenders That Prominently Feature Animals (Photos)

THR profiles the dogs, cats, horses, chimps, pandas, lions, tigers, chipmunks, bears, penguins, whales, lambs, beavers, macaws, chameleons and ferrets that have made this awards season a veritable zoo.
20th Century Fox
"We Bought a Zoo"

Over the past month or so -- during which I saw Carnage, Hugo and The Adventures of Tintin and have been itching to see War Horse and We Bought a Zoo -- it dawned on me that they are just a small handful of a great many 2011 awards hopefuls that prominently feature animals ... many of which actually give very good "performances."

Sure, every year are a handful of animated flicks are built around anthropomorphic creatures, but this year seems to have even more of those than usual, plus a marked uptick in live-action flicks involving animals. So I sat down, came up with a list of 23 examples and assembled the following photo gallery of them. 

I hope that you'll check out my selections -- and let me know of any omissions, as well as your personal favorite, in the comments section at the bottom of this post.

PHOTOS: 23 Awards Contenders Featuring Animals